“We should have faith (in ourselves) no matter how difficult or awkward our confrontation with reality is,….we may never know why we are made the way we are, and what rewards will come from having faith in that particular way of being which is just utterly ourselves. Michael had come to this “being” through his doubt.” – David Whyte
The poet, David Whyte, tells a story of his friend Michael. Michael and David met while living on a farm half way up a welsh mountain, a place where if a field had four corners, three of them had a name. Michael was constantly reading William Blake and yearned to experience the world as Blake had, but Michael was full of doubt. A doubt he was true to all his life, until the month before he died of cancer. In that month he found everything he was looking for, he finally understood the deep and profound connection he possessed with the world around him.
The older I get, the less I know. And that feels right somehow. Even admitting to that feels right. Like Michael, I doubt most things. Doubt has been my friend all my life, it has saved me from Radical Preachers and New Age Gurus. Doubt shows up in my body feelings and symptoms and as I get older, I listen more closely. I also doubt myself every day, that’s a bit annoying actually, but it’s my awkwardness I need to accept. It’s my way of being.
It comes as a relief when you finally realise you don’t have to know how life works. All those years of trying to figure it out were leading you to this point, a point of not knowing. Each person reaches this conclusion at different stages of their lives. It’s a gradual process of UN- knowing. Unticking all the boxes, Unraveling all the threads of your life ,which you painstakingly rolled into neat balls, and allowing them to become tangled again in their own unique way. With this realisation, we become young again in our hearts. It frees us to live fully without the need of pretence that we are anything more than what we are. We become like young children again, comfortable and embracing of our awkwardnesses.